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The Draper City Council is expected to announce a new police chief next week, police officials said Wednesday night.

Mayor Charles Hoffman, city manager Andrew Hatton-Ward and council members have interviewed two finalists. Their names are being kept secret until the announcement is officially made Dec. 19 during the council's bimonthly meeting.The finalists have been interviewed by a selection committee, they said.

The new chief will be hired after an extensive background check is conducted by the city manager, police officials added.

A nationwide search produced more than 30 applicants from which four finalists were selected. The four names submitted are Lee Crebbs, (the only Utahn), Stan Spadoni, Hans DeHaas and David Jones.

Draper police officials began advertising the job in September after former Chief Wayne Riley, 41, was charged with second-degree felony theft and three counts of unlawful dealing by a fiduciary, a third-degree felony.

"It's been quite a long process," said Detective Sgt. Douglas Boone, acting chief of police.

Riley, who resigned under pressure Sept. 27, is accused of taking $1,755 cash that was seized as evidence and using it for personal expenses, Boone said. He also is accused of taking $12.95 from evidence and using it for the police department's coffee fund.

The former chief also is charged with selling copper wire seized from theft suspects in January for $525. Of that, Riley allegedly used $125 for his own expenses and put $400 into Draper's general fund, the charges state.

In May or June, Riley sold more wire for $500 to $700 and allegedly used the money to buy police supplies. A few months later, Riley allegedly sold $272 worth of wire and purchased additional police equipment, according to the charges, which state he had no authority to make the transactions.

Police officials did not say how much money the new chief will earn but estimated his salary will be higher than Riley, who was making approximately $25,000 a year.

Boone, who originally filed the complaint against Riley, said he's taken "some," heat for blowing the whistle.

One of the new chief's priorities will be getting back the credibility the police department lost during Riley's suspension, investigation and arraignment, Boone said.

All candidates have been certified police officers, have educational degrees and have performed at the command level. All candidates are above the rank of lieutenant, Boone said.

Boone, who has been acting chief for three months, says the department, which has seven full-time officers, needs some aggressive law enforcement direction to eliminate drug users from the area. Boone said the city is used as a stop point for drug traffickers on their way to Salt Lake City.

Mayor Charles Hoffman said the city needs a police chief who will "make our department, one with the highest caliber men, function for Draper's rural needs."

He said the former police chief still has "a lot of admiration and support."

"It's unfortunate he made a mistake," he said.